What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissues such as the lining of the uterus begin to grow in other areas, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis can affect women of any age.
A long-term condition can have a big impact on your health, but there are treatments that can help.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are severely affected, while others may have no visible symptoms.
The main symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Abdominal or back pain (genital pain) – it gets worse during your period
- The pain of the moment stopping you from doing your normal activities
- pain during or after sex
- pain when urinating or vomiting during your period
- you feel sick, constipated, diarrhea, or blood in your pee during your period and pregnancy difficulties
You may also have difficult times. You can use multiple pads or tampons, or you can bleed with your clothes.
For some women, endometriosis can have a profound effect on their health and can sometimes lead to feelings of depression.
When do you see a GP
See a GP if you have symptoms of endometriosis, especially if they have a major impact on your health. It may be helpful to write down your symptoms before seeing a doctor.
It can be difficult to diagnose endometriosis because the symptoms can vary greatly, and many other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
The GP will ask you about your symptoms, and may ask you to examine your abdomen and vagina.
They may recommend treatment if they think you have endometriosis.
If this does not help, they may refer you to a specialist called a gynecologist for further tests, such as ultrasound scan or laparoscopy.
Laparoscopy is when a surgeon passes a small tube through a small incision in your abdomen so that they can detect any tissue of endometriosis. This is the only way to make sure you have endometriosis.
Treatment of endometriosis
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments that can help reduce symptoms.
- Painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
- Hormonal drugs and contraceptive methods – including the combined pill, oral contraceptives, intrauterine system (IUS), and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
- Surgery to cut endometriosis tissue spots
- Surgery to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as hysterectomy
Your doctor will discuss your options with you. Sometimes they may suggest that you do not start treatment immediately to see if your symptoms improve on their own.